Hi all. I am sure I won't be the first to ask this so apologies in advance. This is my first winter living in France and I would very much like to continue my tradition of making a batch of homemade marmalade if I can. Does anyone know if it is possible to get Seville oranges for making marmalade here, or whether there is an equivalent. Thanks. Beverley
OK, good question. A kilo of limes to about 350gr of sugar. The oranges and ginger are a kilo to a good sized root, bearing in mind how much is lost peeling it, depending on how much you like ginger as well, try to have between 120-150gr.
What quantities of limes and ginger do you begin with? I have plenty of molasses sugar to hand. (We stock up the campervan with items difficult to find here).
That is a question of taste. To begin with I buy muscovado or molasses sugar at a health food store, have some really black stuff brought by visitors sometimes, and add the sugar to taste as I go along. With the lime it goes dark but keeps the bitterness, if I want it sweeter then I used the yellow cane sugar instead. Never white, not even the stuff that is supposed to be for conserves.
So, I start by putting in a smallish amount of my fruit, then put in the sugar, which is a third of the weight of the prepared fruit. I let the sugar begin to melt, begin to add the fruit slowly. That gives a bit of contrast and texture to the finished marmalade. From then on it, I taste for one thing and test to see if it is sticky enough on a scrap of baking foil. Sugar is added by the table spoon until I get to what I want. If I can pick it up still hot and it sticks but just runs enough to stop as it cools without dripping off I know it will set right. Part of the equation is, of course, I have done it for so long I have ceased to really think about it
What proportions do you use Brian?
Sounds great Brian, thank you. All these new ideas to work with. Thanks everyone :-)
Elaine, I have a similar answer. I make lime marmalade, that is a delicious sharp killer! I also buy the thickest skinned untreated ones or Oranges Amères (Sevilles) at a health food shop and root ginger. I chunk the ginger down fine and mix it in with the sugar and leave it a couple of days. The sugar gets lumpy, the ginger softens, then it is marmalade time. I am down to one jar as it is and no chutney either, so next shopping trip...
Thanks Elaine. Good idea. I suppose have always stuck with marmalade as Sevilles are so easy to get in England. I will give it a go. I do love all citrus anyway.
Why don’t you make something different too? I make a mean 3 fruit version, 50% oranges, 25% grapefruit and 25% lemons. Heat them up in the microwave before you start, this gives loads more juice.
Thank you Sarah, your response is really helpful. If I strike out locally, we do have a biocoop within a reasonable drive. Such a shame about he festival. The idea of a marmalade festival sounds great!
That's great, thank you Katherine. I will ask my regular greengrocer.
I have found Seville oranges in organic shops like BioCoop. They're called orange amère here or bigarade.
There used to be a bigarade festival at La Caumette but it's been cancelled this year and unless someone takes over the organisation, it won't be on in the future either.
I would suggest you go to your local green grocer and order them. Ask for "Oranges Amères" and they will know what you mean.